China Leadership Monitor

“Social Management” as a Way of Coping With Heightened Social Tensions

Friday, January 6, 2012

Over the last year there has been an increasing emphasis on “social management” as a way of managing increasing social tensions in Chinese society. Indeed, the effort the CCP is putting into publicizing this concept underscores high-level concerns. Although these concerns cannot be attributed to the Arab spring or other global events, such social movements certainly make the CCP leadership more wary about the ways in which external political changes might stimulate domestic incidents, especially given the growing role of social media. Although this emphasis on social management should not be seen as the government giving up on the modest efforts at political reform it has been undertaking in recent years, it does suggest that the government sees other measures as more important in the short run.